Has everyone heard of the popular ‘MSG’; well, I’m not a fan of it. I don’t care if it is a food enhancer. It is not really good for you and it makes some people eat more. Following are two of many examples listed about ‘msg’ and there is much more information when you look up this money making ingredient. This food additive does not seem to be good for you from everything I read. I tried to avoid this ingredient if at all possible by limiting junk food intake and other processed foods; this is the only way to control msg(monosodium glutamate) intake as it in so many foods.
The terms I have listed below are from the articles that were options to read for this week’s Weekly Post. The first term comes from the article “Lowering Salt in Your Diet” that talks about the impact of sodium. I chose to incorporate this term because of how unusual it may appear to an uninformed consumer. On the nutrition label, there is the percentage daily value section where you can see what percentage of different vitamins, carbs, sugar, etc. that is in that food. However, consumers may not know that more than 20% is considered high as 20% is usually thought of as a low percentage.
The next two terms are from the article “Are Government Regulations Sufficient to Protect the Public from Toxic Chemicals Used in Toys and Other Consumer Products.” The term “voluntary standards” kind of speaks for itself, however, I thought it was interesting to know that the product in question for these standards is usually toys, things that are given to children. The fact that the regulations on these are voluntary means that kids could be in danger, and frankly it is surprising that the parents of the world have not called for stronger regulations. The next term, “safety requirements” is a term that is used lightly in this article. These requirements barely exist and do little to nothing to help with the safety of toys and other consumer products. Toys do not need to be tested for chemical hazards before being put out. That is how something like Aqua Dots were released several years back. When this toy hit the market it was very popular, but since they are so small, kids would accidentally eat them and fall very ill or become comatose.
- Low vs. High Sodium: Less than 5% on the Daily Value of food labels is low, anything above 20% is high.
- Voluntary Standards: Standards developed by industry groups that the Consumer Product Safety Commission cannot enforce, leaving consumers to question if products are safe or not.
- Safety Requirements: Little to none, as there are no requirements for testing for hazardous chemicals for consumer product and toy manufacturers before they are released to the public.
The area of concern that I chose was the standards for school food. When I was a freshman in high school in 2012, the lunch usually consisted of a slice of pizza that was so greasy it needed to be dabbed with a napkin before consumption, French fries with extra salt, and a drink called “Ice” that had no calories, and therefore contained aspartame. Then, in sophomore year, the slices of pizza were cut in half, the French fries were unsalted, and fruit cups and low-fat milk were offered as alternative options. As my dream job is to help design meal plans for public schools, this article was of great interest to me. As I am no longer attending a public school, I feel protected, however, for those still in grade school, I do not feel the same. Michelle Obama did make some great changes to the public-school systems food including many dietary restrictions, correct portion sizing, and raising the spending limit of each child by 6 cents. However, these changes are too little too late for America. I do know that schools are now required to have cut down on saturated and trans fats and sodium consumption. In the long term this will help, however, it is not a large enough change to bring about substantial impact. I do not know if this change will impact school aged children to the degree that Michelle Obama was planning on. The agency that would be most relevant to learn something about is any of the fifteen nutrition assistance programs put in place by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, the Summer Food Service Program, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, etc. What is most important to share with consumers about this issue is that there are things being done to help combat childhood obesity and disease. However, it is also important to note that the last changes made to the public-school food system were in 2012 and are now half a decade outdated. Consumers are protected in the way that their children are given healthier choices for lunch, however, they are not protected in the fact that these are merely choices. If you were to ask a 12-year-old if they wanted to have pizza and French fries for lunch or a salad and fruit cup, they would choose the pizza almost every time.
After reviewing a few articles under the consumer protection & regulations page, I decided to talk about the recall on Toyota vehicles that needed replaced parts for their brakes on certain vehicles. As a consumer, I do feel safe just because many car industries do recall their vehicles to have certain areas fixed on them, and fix them with no charge for you. I did not know that Toyota does not need an approval from the NHTSA to undergo such actions to their vehicles. The NHTSA would be an agency I would learn more about, just because I would like to know more about their involvement in the vehicle industry. This is something I would make all consumers aware of, which can help make certain decisions if needed.